What is a Florida Traffic Citation?
In the state of Florida, a traffic citation is the same as a traffic ticket. When you are given a citation, it’s the ticket that lists the warning or offense you have been charged with and a citation can be the specific offense as well. If you have been given or charged with a traffic citation, then this could be a mild or very serious situation, depending on what the citation is.
There are three important types of traffic citations:
Warning traffic citations, you don’t need to do anything about. They are there to let you know that a police officer noticed your traffic misconduct but will not be leveling any consequences this time.
Civil traffic citations are usually small, and more likely to cost a fine than result in jail time or loss of your license.
Criminal traffic citations often mean that you have seriously broken traffic laws or that someone got hurt. These can be serious and can result in jail time and very high fines.
It’s also worth noting that moving violations (the vehicle was moving) are usually more serious than non-moving violations.
What to Do When You Receive a Traffic Citation
If you have recently received a traffic citation from a Florida police officer, then there are a few steps you should take to help strengthen your defense. First, listen to what the officer says and replay it in your mind. Consider what they emphasized, like how fast you were going or how busy the street is. This may matter later.
Next, read the citation completely. Look at the name of the offense, the legal code, potential fine amount, and court date. You’ll need to make that court date.
Third, take photographs of the scene and collect contact information from others involved and witnesses, if you can. Data from your OBD or dash cam can also be helpful.
What Makes a Defensible Traffic Citation Case?
Can you defend this traffic citation? This is an important question to ask when looking at all the evidence.
Many traffic citation cases are dismissed if you bother to come into court, even if your position is “I did that and I’m sorry”. An apology can go a long way for minor traffic citations if the court can see that you learned your lesson and will drive more carefully in the future.
For cases that can and must be defended, the more evidence you have, the better. If you can shed new light on the situation that is not considered by your citation charge or if extenuating circumstances like car trouble caused the problem, you may be able to build a strong defense and step away from consequences.
How a Lawyer Can Help with Your Traffic Citation
If you need to build a defense for a serious traffic citation, or protect your license from a checkered driving history, then a Florida traffic attorney is your best option. A traffic lawyer understands the nuances of Florida traffic citations and how the court prefers to handle certain cases. They can tell you if your case will be dismissed with an apology or help you build a practical and strong defense based on the circumstances of your vehicular incident.
Consult with Oldham and Delcamp on Handling Your Florida Traffic Citation
Here at the law office of Oldham and Delcamp, we are passionate about helping Floridians build a strong defense. Whether your traffic citation is a misdemeanor or a criminal charge, please contact us for a consultation and we will provide you professional insight on the potential of your defense case. We look forward to hearing from you.
Oldham & Delcamp is a member of the Attorney’s Real Estate Council of Pinellas County, is also currently on the Board of Directors of the Pinellas County Bar Association, and is the former chair of the Real Property section.
When your freedom is on the line, you need an attorney that is aggressive, responsive, and experienced. Oldham & Delcamp is committed to making sure that each of our clients receives the personalized attention of one of our attorneys.